“This is the first duet/collaboration I’ve ever done in my life, so to do it with Trent was a real surprise and a treat,” Elfman said of the remix in a statement. “He’s always been a big inspiration to me, not to mention he has one of my all-time favorite singing voices.”
Reznor adds industrial flourishes and distortion to the original “Mess,” as well as vocals throughout the remix. (In addition to Reznor, Nine Inch Nails vets like guitarist Robin Finck and drummer Josh Freese contributed to the recording of Big Mess, including the original version of “True.”)
The “True” video, released in April, also receives a remix of sorts, with the collaboration accompanied by an Aron Johnson-directed visual that combines archived footage from the original Sarah Sitkin-helmed video along with brand new 3D modeling.
Following a string of singles — “Happy,” “Sorry,” “Love in the Time of Covid,” and “Kick Me.” — in 2020, Elfman released Big Mess in June. The album, recorded during the Covid pandemic, also features a reworking of “Insects,” originally recorded by Elfman’s band Oingo Boingo in 1982.
“Once I began writing, it was like opening a Pandora’s box and I found I couldn’t stop,” Elfman previously said in a statement. “None of it was planned. I had no idea how many songs I would write but from the start, it quickly became a two-sided project with heavily contrasting and even conflicting tones.”